This story on the BBC has it that Surrey are considering a shock, and it really is a shock, bid for Brian Lara to play Twenty20 cricket this summer. As much as I believe Lara is one of the finest cricketers of his generation, nay one of the best ever, but the man is forty years old and hasn't played top level competitive cricket for some time.
Yes the likes of Warne, Hayden and Gilchrist are approaching forty years of age too, but they've at least kept their eye in with the IPL, and yet still in all three cases its clear that they aren't the players they used to be.
Surrey, and indeed county cricket as a whole ought not to be considered a vehicle for players to put themselves in the IPL shop window, that's what seems to be inferred by the BBC's story. Moreover, I'm just not sure this sends the right message - we all remember the last 40-something Surrey signed, and that ended in a 13 year jail sentence. I'm not suggesting Lara would be a failure of Lewis-like proportions, I just don't think it says the right things about the club.
Yes, Lara will bring in the crowds and might even sell a few shirts (I have to say, a Surrey shirt with Lara on the back would be nice...) and maybe that is part of the reasoning, but will he enrich our side? I seriously doubt that.
Now, if Lara was to be drafted in to fill a seriously large gap in our batting stocks for four day cricket, well that might elicit a different reaction!